I’m delighted to be joined by Beverley from the blog Beverley Has Read. It’s been a bit of a week of featuring each other as yesterday I was taking part in her Desert Island Books feature! You can read that here. Read on to find out all about Beverley and her blog.
Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature Beverley. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m Beverley, a 40 year old book blogger from the North East of England. I live in Northumberland about ten minutes from the coast, ten minutes from the countryside and ten minutes from the city and I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. I was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and can legitimately call myself a Geordie and I’m proud to do so too! I’m an Account Manager at a Promotional Merchandise company by day and spend my evenings and weekends generally reading (which will come as no surprise!), watching TV (I love a good drama!) or doing cross stitch which I find really relaxing. I also love cooking and baking , browsing bookshops and spending time with my family and friends – usually with a glass of wine in hand. I live with my husband of 14 years who isn’t a bookworm but I think I’ll keep him!
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
I was brought up on reading, my parents are both huge readers and my favourite book as a very young child was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I loved it so much that I demanded it be read to me over and over again. My parents were sick to the back teeth of it and used to try and skip pages but 2 year old me just knew they’d missed a bit and made them go back and read it again from the very beginning. After that it was Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five books which I inherited from my older cousin, and then Mallory Towers, St Clare’s, The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High. I also loved those ‘Make Your Own Adventure’ books too with the dice and the puzzles to solve – great fun!
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I love the community. I’ve made some friends from blogging and feel like I have a little support network of lovely people. Of course, I love the books and I always feel very lucky when I receive an advanced copy of a book – it feels like a real privilege – but the people are what make it. It is a really wonderful world to be in.
It is also so great to feel like I am involved in publishing in some way and to be able to help shout about authors and books I have fallen in love with. I never thought that I would be able to read a book, write about it and have people buy it based on what I thought. It has put me back in touch with friends from school I had lost touch with and opened doors to lots of exciting things such as being on Zoe Ball’s Book Club on her TV show talking about Never Greener by Ruth Jones a couple of years ago and more recently I’ve been approached by a University in America who want to use part of one of my reviews in a research study about the power of book reviews which is very exciting indeed!
Most of all, I feel very lucky to have read some truly excellent books and I think it has made me read more widely and be braver with my book choices and genres which I am eternally thankful for.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
My first blog post was in January 2013 and I really just wrote reviews for myself for a couple of months and then kind of lost interest. Then in October 2016 one of my friends started a lifestyle blog and I remembered about my WordPress account so I started writing reviews again. By then I had a few more Twitter followers and I got a few more views, which led to finding other bloggers and it just seemed to grow from there. I went to Newcastle Noir in May 2017 and met somebody there from a publisher who asked if I wanted to do Blog Tours and that was it, I was hooked into the book blogging community!
I read most things except for sci-fi or horror and went through a phase of reading lots and lots of crime (it’s all those crime festivals!). Nowadays I read and review a mix but particularly enjoy commercial fiction, women’s fiction, modern fiction, nordic crime, psychological thrillers and historical fiction with a sway towards WW2.
My reviews are pretty honest but I’ll never pull a book to bits on my blog so only review books that are three stars and above for that reason. Generally if I have loved a book you’ll know about it – I’m not shy about being effusive in my praise!
I have a monthly feature called Desert Island Books where I ask people to tell me which 5 books they’d like to be abandoned on a desert island with and I have been thrilled to welcome a number of lovely people to my blog. I was over the moon that Elizabeth Day agreed to take part recently as she is one of my absolute favourite authors, I just love her! I also post a round up at the end of the month which is almost like a diary post where I reflect on the previous month and talk about the books I read, the books I bought and the books I received.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
Can I choose two? Sorry! They’re both relatively recent books but I have chosen them for the same reason! I’d recommend Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton and The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean. I think that lots of people have a sort of fear of crime fiction or believe that they don’t like it, when the reality is the ‘crime fiction’ banner encompasses so many different genres. It doesn’t have to be blood and gore, or a police procedural or full of gun fights and violence. Crime fiction can be quieter than that and it can be (and usually is!) really good storytelling.
Both of these books are excellent stories and both have great pacing and plotting and are nail bitingly tense. They’re just absolutely phenomenal reads which have stuck in my mind ever since reading. I feel like these are books I would give to a friend who said they didn’t like crime fiction, because I think they’d change their mind about the genre – then I’d introduce them to Tana French (sorry, had to sneak some more in there!).
What are you reading just now?
Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks – my first ever book by him and I’m only 50 pages in but really liking it so far.
Is there a book you’d like to see made into a film?
Oof this a tough one! I’d love to see an adaptation of The Secret History by Donna Tartt which is one of my absolute favourite books.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
You can find my blog at: https://beverleyhasread.wordpress.com/
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I thought long and hard about this and decided that it would be Diana Bishop from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls series of books. I love historical things and (spoiler alert) she can travel through time and I’d love to be able to visit the past. The gorgeous vampire, Matthew Clairmont who is in love with her would just be the cherry on top!